Overcoming the Shyness
At a recent staff meeting, we were discussing the music ministry at Christ Church. We are thankful
to God for the gifts and talents of Karen, Stephen and Mary Katherine, and our faithful choir
members. We are blessed to have one of the finest music ministries of any liturgical church in this
city. Yet, we also raised with each other a concern that the level of congregational singing is not
where it needs to be in terms of participation and â€œmaking a joyful noise.â€ I have been asked to
share a few thoughts with you about choral music in our Anglican tradition.
The first and most important thing I want to say is to encourage each one of you to open the
hymnal and sing out. More than just listening to our choirs, it is vital for the people of God to
participate in this form of praise to God. When some choose not to sing or decline to participate,
then our expression of praise is not all it can be. So, begin by opening your hymnal and joining the
rest of us.
When Karen and I give shape to the music portion of our liturgy, we are trying to do several
things. Let me share with you my thoughts. The Opening (Processional) and Closing (Recessional)
Hymns are among the most familiar and hopefully, easy to sing. I desire to begin worship with
enthusiasm and purpose, and to conclude worship with a sending forth. Like an Andrew Lloyd
Webber musical, these two hymns should put some pep in our step and inspire us to sing them in
the car on our way home from church. The service music, such as the Gloria, the Kyrie, the
Sanctus, the Agnus Dei and the canticles of Morning Prayer, is familiar over time and only changes
according to certain liturgical seasons. At Christ Church, the service music is intended to be sung
by the choir and congregation.
One of the best places in the liturgy to learn new hymns is the hymn before the sermon, or
sometimes called the Sequence or Gospel Hymn. Karen is careful to select this hymn according to
the readings of the particular Sunday. During the time the Sacrament is distributed, the pew bulletin
states that there are Communion Hymns to be sung. Most of the time, these hymns are from the
Hymnal and occasionally, at the 9:00 am service, we will use other sources. In any case, these
hymns are to be sung by the congregation and the choir. This is probably not the best time to talk
to your neighbor, read the bulletin, or see who is in church (or not). Remember, worship is prayer,
and God expects the gathered body of Christ to participate fully.
So, please reconsider your participation in the liturgy and music at Christ Church on Sunday
mornings. And, let us hear from you if we havenâ€™t sung one of your favorite hymns recently.
MUSIC FOR EPIPHANY
The hymns and offertories for the remaining Sundays in Epiphany will be:
Christ for the world we sing; They cast their nets in Galilee;
Spread, O spread, thou mighty word
9 a.m. offertory: Go Forth Haas
11 a.m.offertory: Thy Perfect Love Rutter
Dawn Wells, Soprano Soloist; Jerry Welker, Cantor
Lift up your heads; ‘Tis the gift to besimple; Tell out my soul
9 a.m. offertory: Blessed Are They Joncas
11 a.m. offertory: He That Is Down Need Fear No Fall
O Rest In The Lord Mendelssohn
Mary Katherine Boyd, Mezzo Soprano
When morning gilds the skies; Awake, mysoul, stretch every nerve;
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
9 a.m. offertory: Alleluia fromCantata 142 Bach
11 a.m. offertory: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence